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Mahatma Gandhi and His Myths: Civil Disobedience, Nonviolence, and Satyagraha in the Real World (Plus Why It's 'Gandhi,' Not 'Ghandi') [Kindle Edition]

Mark Shepard
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

********#1 AMAZON.COM BESTSELLER IN WAR & PEACE (JUNE 2013)********
"All my actions have their source in my inalienable love of humankind." -- Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi is one of the least understood figures of all time -- even among his admirers. In this Annual Gandhi Lecture for the International Association of Gandhian Studies, Mark Shepard tackles some persistently wrong-headed views of Gandhi, offering us a more accurate picture of the man and his nonviolence.
"A model of Gandhian journalism. . . . [Shepard] has put his finger on seemingly all of the popular (and some less common) misconceptions of both Gandhi and his philosophy, including some particularly important ones. . . . This book takes little space to cover its topic concisely and well. It would be [some] of the most valuable pages many people could read about Gandhi." -- Global Conscience, July-Sept. 1990
Mark Shepard is the author of "Mahatma Gandhi and His Myths," "The Community of the Ark," and "Gandhi Today," called by the American Library Association's Booklist "a masterpiece of committed reporting." His writings on social alternatives have appeared in over 30 publications in the United States, Canada, England, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, and India.

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I suspect that most of the myths and misconceptions surrounding Gandhi have to do with nonviolence. For instance, it's surprising how many people still have the idea that nonviolent action is passive.
It's important for us to be clear about this: There is nothing passive about Gandhian nonviolent action.
I'm afraid Gandhi himself helped create this confusion by referring to his method at first as "passive resistance," because it was in some ways like techniques bearing that label. But he soon changed his mind and rejected the term.
Gandhi's nonviolent action was not an evasive strategy nor a defensive one. Gandhi was always on the offensive. He believed in confronting his opponents aggressively, in such a way that they could not avoid dealing with him.
But wasn't Gandhi's nonviolent action designed to avoid violence? Yes and no. Gandhi steadfastly avoided violence toward his opponents. He did not avoid violence toward himself or his followers.
Gandhi said that the nonviolent activist, like any soldier, had to be ready to die for the cause. And in fact, during India's struggle for independence, hundreds of Indians were killed by the British.
The difference was that the nonviolent activist, while willing to die, was never willing to kill.
Gandhi pointed out three possible responses to oppression and injustice. One he described as the coward's way: to accept the wrong or run away from it. The second option was to stand and fight by force of arms. Gandhi said this was better than acceptance or running away.
But the third way, he said, was best of all and required the most courage: to stand and fight solely by nonviolent means.

About the Author

See above.

Product Details

  • File Size: 214 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Simple Productions (March 29, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001AV3WWG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,919 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Enlightening July 22, 2005
This is a short but powerful story that clears the air of many common misconceptions surrounding Mahatma Gandhi and Satyagraha. Even if you have done some prior study as I have about Gandhi, this book will still clarify many major areas of his work and give some insight into his own actions and works which seemingly run counter to his own professions of ideology. The mysteries are revealed in this jewel of a book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read July 13, 2007
By chris
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
it is a good book and for its size, 30 something pages of actual content, it is very enlightening and contains surprising amount of information in its small size. it is a must read for any and all Gandhi followers, critics, or anyone looking for information about his non-violent ways.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Title is misleading. October 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I guess you can't expect too much for the price, but this isn't an in depth history of Gandhi. It actually provides very little information about the complexity of Gandhi's personality. This is more of a short essay written in praise of Gandhi and no analytical understanding of the man.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish Mark Shepard was still writting about Gandhi and Nonviolence. This is an older book but clearly speaks to what is important to understand about Gandhi's views on Nonviolence. The myths are in my estimation more about how nonviolence has been misinterpreted. Given that there are more Nonviolece trainings going on in our country than ever this year, his book should be on the top of list for everyone getting those trainings to read. And for those of us who are now researching everything we can get our hands on about nonviolent strategies- this is a great read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book written for Non Indians! December 18, 2012
By Mani
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An Okay book.It does not cover well enough.The author is trying touch topics very superficially.

The book will be worth reading for people with little knowledge on Gandhi
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so great September 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anyone who is interested about Mahatma Gandhi should go through his autobiography 'My experiments with truth ',this ebook just represents the vague idea and views regarding Mahatma Gandhi and nothing else .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good insights in a compact form December 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is text of a very good talk given by an insightful Gandhi scholar. In clearing up some Gandhi myths Mark Shepard gives some great practical advice for applying the lessons of Gandhi's life to our own. The book is short but powerful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but short February 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As several reviewers have mentioned, this book is just too short to provide a complete and rigorous account of the life of Mohandas Gandhi. In fact, this "book" is really the transcript of a lecture given by the author at U Virginia. I hope the author has expanded this material into a book-long treatment.

The author that the prevailing understanding of the civil disobedience, non-violence, and satyagraha are fundamentally flawed, and are incompatible with Gandhi's views on these subjects. And in this, he has succeeded quite a bit. As an Indian, I had an early exposure to Gandhi, the freedom-fighter and the Mahatma, but this has not prevented the many misconceptions regarding his ideologies. I am thankful for the book for expanding that understanding.

Note: I agree with a reviewer that the title is a bit misleading, in that this is a very short book (42 pages). Perhaps, Amazon should make it obvious somewhere in the title.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahatma Gandhi the great warrior
The book was well written and is an easy read. I learned new things about Gandhi. If you like reading about interesting lives you will not be disappointed.
Published 11 days ago by Michael J. Costabile
1.0 out of 5 stars mahatma gandhi
just tried the sample. Good thing, the sample was absolutely a nothingness of boredom that said nothing. All of it was about what he looked like!
Published 20 days ago by scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Done-young Sir!!!
This little report was a good look at a different angle of not only a man and his great social movement but also the unexpected consequence of its outcome.Thanks!
Published 2 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent summary of mahatma Gandhi's method. I thought I knew but now I learned it again from a different perspective.
Published 2 months ago by Kandarp
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick read, good food for the brain.
I all ready new 95% of what was written in this essay. But the essay was well written and a quick and fun read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Fast Eddie
4.0 out of 5 stars Gandhiji
Mahatma Gandhi was far greater human being than we can think of, with human weaknesses(?).Amazing achievements. What a tremendous control and influence he had over whole of India!!
Published 3 months ago by Atul
4.0 out of 5 stars Note on name
While entire text thoroughly explained, note on name section seems to be missing the real thing. As popularly known in INDIA, Indira the daughter of Nehru married to FIROZ GHANDI... Read more
Published 3 months ago by raghuvardhan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Scoop on a 20th-Century Icon
Short and highly informative. Gives you the correct way to spell the name, for starters, explains the meaning of "Mahatma" (it's a title, not a name), and explodes a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by William T. Masonis
5.0 out of 5 stars New understanding
I rated this book on a high scale, because I felt Mark wrote the truth about his enlightening revelation for what was right and wrong by people who sacrifice for what they believe... Read more
Published 4 months ago by MJ
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow
A very shallow analysis of a major change in Indian society. Hardly an in depth look at methods for non-violent protest.
Published 5 months ago by James Boroff
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More About the Author

Mark Shepard is the author of books on the flute, peace and nonviolence, and simple living. He lives in Friday Harbor, Washington.


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